DONUT 1: We begin with the two things we know for certain about tonight: One, Dirk is on the trip, once again prepping to try to play with his sprained knee. Two, Ro Blackman and I will serve as the pre- and postgame analysts on FS Southwest. See you at 7:30 before the game!
And this add, from Mark Followill in Milwaukee: The Matrix has a thigh contusion and won't play tonight.
DONUT 2: Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell says we're all "wussies'' because we don't want to sit in a blizzard and watch an Eagles game.
What's more, he insists that the Chinese would've happily done so.
Some of Rendell's radio diatribe: "We have become a nation of wussies. The Chinese are kicking our butts in everything. … If this was in China, do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? … The people would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked, and they would be doing calculus on the way down.''
Indeed, I've talked to a couple of my Chinese friends today, and they insist that they would've "marched'' on the stadium, performed calculus, and also handled Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's dry cleaning.
DONUT 3: Before you (we) knee-jerk too much about how these Mavs make too many wrong moves, consider what Jeremy Lin is doing right now.
Remember that the Mavs signed Lin for the Summer League and hoped he'd stick around to play in Frisco in the D-League. Lin, however – a local hero in the Bay Area – opted to take his chances on further heroism to sign with the lowly Warriors.
But this week, Lin is no longer with the Warriors. He's playing for their D-League team, the Reno Bighorns.
Hey, I still wish Lin was in North Texas. So do the Mavs. But he's a D-Leaguer. So let's not draw-and-quarter any Mavs execs for letting him slip away, OK?
DONUT 4: It's a compliment. And an insult. All at the same time.
The Cowboys lead the NFL in starters named to this year's Pro Bowl. Congratulations to Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Andre Gurode and Mat McBriar for being part of the most underachieving Cowboys team of all time.
DONUT 5: Not only were we right about old friend Kris Humphries dating Kim Kardashian, but I think we are right about his No. 1 motivation for doing so.
OK, his No. 2 motivation for doing so.
He – and they – want the publicity.
Word out of New York is that Hunkphries hired a PR lady (the same gal who keeps Eva Longoria on the pages of People magazine) to spread the word of his romance.
None of this will make Kris a better player. But his stock as a playa is through the roof.
DONUT 6: I guess I've pounded on Jet enough for the performance against the Spurs … now I'm trying to figure out what happened … what was in his head as he missed shot after shot. …
Here's a theory:
In the early going, Jason Terry didn't just settle for bombs, as he often does in the first three quarters. He darted into the lane. He challenged SA's interior defenders.
And he got stoned. Or rocked. Repeatedly. Knocked around. And no calls.
Maybe Jet got taken out of this game early by those non-calls in the lane. He needed to play like a superstar – to at least be Robin to Caron's Batman – and when he didn't get "superstar calls,'' he fell way back.
Like the theory?
What we know is that with 50 seconds left in the game, Terry had only had two points … and that such a result has to be as much mental as it is physical.
DONUT 7: The Mavs have spent the last couple of days talking about vengeance, having lost not only two straight games, but also having lost to this same Milwaukee team back on Dec. 13 at the AAC.
"They celebrated on our floor, so we owe them something real good," said center Tyson Chandler.
Dallas is 24-7, the Bucks 12-18 -- and they don't have young star Brandon Jennings, out with a broken foot.
DONUT 8: Mavs-Spurs, and That Bonner Character finally found himself in a fair match-up against the Mavericks:
This isn't exactly a Separated at Birth -- Cardinal's shooting style is more eye-pleasing – but it was close enough. Cardinal actually held his own until the late fourth quarter when "The Janitor'' appeared to flinch instead of shooting multiple times in a row.
Probably an error of non-selfishness there, because if Cardinal is going to be in a non-Dirk game in the fourth quarter, he's partially in there to shoot when open.
Contrast that to That Bonner Character, who has a standing deal with Pop: if he doesn't shoot open 3's, he gets pulled immediately.
So maybe next time for The Janitor – except as Dirk heals, I hope there isn't a next time.
DONUT 9: Ex-Ranger Rafael Palmeiro, who's on the Hall-of-Fame ballot for the first time, is suddenly very open and cooperative with the press – in stark contrast to his behavior since coming down with a case of the Mutes before Congress a few years ago.
Wonder why he's so cooperative now with the media?
Because … Rafael Palmeiro is on the Hall-of-Fame ballot for the first time.
And you know who the voters are, right?
DONUT 10: Three great ways to stay in touch with what the heck is going on around here: DB.com Boards, DB.com Mavs coverage on Twitter, and Friending Fish on Facebook. Come say hi. Join the Mavs family!
DONUT 11: Wade Phillips as the defensive coordinator for the Texas? That's his role, that's his city ... and defense is what holds that team back on a weekly basis.
DONUT 12: "Michael Vick killed dogs, and he did in a heartless and cruel way," says FOX News commentator Tucker Carlson. "And I think personally he should have been executed for that."
That's perfectly logical. You kill a dog, we sentence you to death.
And your punishment if you kill a human? We sentence you to having to listen to FOX News commentator Tucker Carlson.